The following is a Q&A we conducted with Jeff Veiga shortly after he won the USATF-NE 5 mi championship at the Ribfest race. Jeff ran a 24:19.26 for the win, which was his second consecutive Grand Prix title (after having won the USATF-NE 5k championship back in March). Currently he sits in 6th place in the series standings. Oh wait, they just haven’t been updated yet. Okay, no big deal, we can figure it out by our own rough calculation and see that he would probably be in 3rd place, behind Sança and Ashe.
Am I reading too much into your last status update, or does #comeback imply that you’ve been battling some injuries?
I was actually hurt from the fall of last year up until the beginning of January this year. That was the longest period I have gone without running due to injury since I started running, and I strongly considered hanging up the spikes. But so far this year I have been relatively healthy and have raced pretty well, but I decided with my fellow 01852TrainingCamp partner, Dan Roark, that I should continue the #comeback until I actually PR (although that seems like it’s not going to happen this year unfortunately).
At what point did you start to gain separation on Harvey, Jenksin & Ashe?
Right at 2 miles I just opened up, and started stringing the field along. Jenkins and Ashe came with me for a while but by 3 miles I was by myself for the rest of the way.
With the headwind and the hills at the start, did you take it out a little slower, maybe try to feel things out a bit?
With it being a 5 mile race, no real time incentive, and the little bit of wind, I wasn’t going to go balls to the wall from the gun. So yeah, I just kind of sat in the pack like everyone else, led a little bit here and there for the first two miles, until I felt comfortable and confident increasing the pace.
How much did our pre-race snub fuel your drive to win?
Not too much. I actually only found out about it from my teammate, and fellow 01852TrainingCamp partner, Ethan Brown, right before we started warming up. I talked to Ethan Brown and Dan Roark about the race days before and we all pretty much agreed that I was going to be the best guy out there within the USATF-NE Grand Prix Series, and that it should be an easy win, unless someone random showed up.
If this is the end result, should we continue to snub you?
I mean I love winning, but I think that only happened because of all the work I put in, so I much rather have a little shout-out instead of nothing at all, but I mean who doesn’t.
Have you raced beyond the 5k distance much in the past?
Plenty of times, I’ve excelled the most in Cross Country over 10k, and I should really attempt a fast Half Marathon, but I have yet to grow the balls to do so.
How does this time compare?
I have run 29:07 for 10k in the past, so 24:19 is a decent time for me, but nothing crazy. The time isn’t too bad after taking into account that it was slow at the beginning, I didn’t really have anyone to really race with after 3 miles, and not having to kick it in hard. I was eying 23:20 if the weather was permitting and I really felt like cranking one out.
No idea, just taking it day by day for now as I’m winding down my current training cycle.